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#517031 - 06/29/07 04:59 AM 31 "Tips" from Managers & Booking Agents (Part 4 of 4)  
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Michael Borges (D) Offline
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Continuation - Part 4 of 4 which started with Music Publisher's tips. These are all excerpts from the new Songwriter's Market for 2007. These are the best ones I found relating to your management & booking needs.

I think these are especially great for artists & bands that are ready to pump-up their concert bookings & touring activity.
Thanks for sharing your thoughts & insights!
Best regards,
Michael

31 Manager's & Booking Agent Tips

1. Send a good detailed demo with good lyrics. Looking for wonderful love stories, dance music.

2. Semi-produced demos are of little value. Either save the time and money by submitting material Ďin the rawí or do a finished production version.

3. If seeking management, press kit should include letter, demo/CD and video. Does not return material.

4. Iím looking for great singers with soul.

5. Remember why you are in this biz. The art comes first.

6. Submit very commercial material Ė make demo of high quality.

7. The songwriters we work with are entertainers themselves, which is the aspect we deal with. They usually have bands or do some sort of show, either with tracks or live music. We engage them for stage shows, dance, strolling, etc. We DO NOT publish music or submit performers to recording companies for contracts. We strictly set up live performances for them.

8. We work with a lot of singer-songwriters, but are open to any talent that can be marketed and booked. A career is something you have to build. Donít expect us, or anyone to make you an overnight sensation!

9. Establish goals based on research, experience and keep learning about the music business. Start the business as though it will always be you as an independent. Establish a foundation before considering alternative commitments. Remember, promote, promote and promote some more. Always be nice to people, treat them as you would wish to be treated.

10. Performers need to be well prepared with their presentation (equipment, showmanship a must).

11. Be upfront and honest. Establish your long term goals and short term goals.

12. Make sure your demo is clear with a good sound so the agent can make a good judgment.

13. Donít submit unless your act is exceptional rather than just starting out, amateurish and with lyrics that are written under the pretense of coming from qualified writers.

14. Please send whatever helps us to most effectively market the attraction and/or artist. Provide something that gives you a clear edge over others in your field.

15. We can do tours in the U.S. and Europe (variety, mostly R&B jazz and top 40) as well as the Chicagoland area. Our bands get steady work and repeat business, because they are good and beat their competition. We also manage show bands.

16. I am dedicated to artists I believe in. I act strictly as a personal manager which means I help them choose songs, submit songs, find a publisher, and/or a record company. Prefer artists who write and perform their own songs.

17. Have a clear artistic mission statement and career goals. Iím mostly interested in overseeing / managing production of material, i.e., creating budgets and mapping out recording plan, booking studios, vendors, etc.

18. Create a market value for yourself, produce your own master recordings and create a cost-effective situation.

19. Should be a working band, self-contained and preferably, performing original material.

20. Works primarily with bands and solo artists.

21. Develop an understanding of many writing styles. Write with many other partners to keep the creativity fresh. Donít feel your style will be ruined by taking a class or a writing seminar. We all process moods and images differently. This leads to uniqueness in the music.

22. Prefer a for-sale CD made to sell at gigs with up to 15 songs each. The presentation should be unique to the artist. Stage presence a must!

23. We are a management company looking for singers, bands, and singer-songwriters who are ready for the next level. We are looking for those with talent and are capable of being national and international contenders.

24. We have many pop recording acts and are looking for commercial material for their next albums.

25. We prefer performing songwriters who can gig their music as a solo or group.

26. We only want your best, and be specific with style. Quality, not quantity.

27. Develop and create your own style, focus on goals and work as a team and maintain good chemistry with all artists and business relationships.

28. Always looking for long term professionals who have worked to establish themselves in their market, yet want to go to the next level. Please call for submission request.

29. We preview and try to place good songs with national artists who are in need of good materials. We have a very tough qualification process and are very selective in forwarding materials to artists and their management.

30. Always submit new songs/material, even if you have sent material that was previously rejects; the music biz is always changing.

31. Less is more.


There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself. -- Johann Sebastian Bach

MichaelBorges.com
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#519908 - 07/07/07 03:26 PM Re: 31 "Tips" from Managers & Booking Agents (Part 4 of 4) [Re: Michael Borges (D)]  
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bwsongs Offline
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Michael, thanks for sharing! My 2005 (??) Songwriters Market book is sitting upstairs on my desk-- I need to re-read!!! So busy.... a big hurdle for most of us, I suppose (busy-ness- little time for research, networking). Thanks for fanning the flame a little today!!

Those pointers show the diversity of each company, but there are some universal themes, of course. I've been mentoring a new young gospel R & B artist/songwriter here, and wanted to share a couple of "REAL LIFE TIPS" on booking, submissions, etc. that I've been teaching him.

During our afternoon together (in between a recording session) he saw me literally email an internationally-known Christian group (who've been around 25 years-- but the members have changed, of course!). They've recently signed a distribution deal with the same record label I'm on, so we had a POINT OF CONTACT. I asked to submit material (songs) to them, and mentioned two songs that I had in mind specifically for them. (NOT a "shot in the dark", without having done my homework and listening to their CURRENT material.)

I am not desperate or begging-- and I am NOT "amateur"-- nor do I EVER want to sound as such. If an artist/songwriter sounds that way (on the phone, in a letter, email, or a personal conversation), they are IMMEDIATELY stamped as "amateur" and will be stopped in their tracks.

Even if you FEEL like you're "desperate" for the gig, the cut, the deal, etc., DON'T let the industry person KNOW that, lol!!! First impressions are EVERYTHING-- it's often ALL you've got.... well, UNLESS you make a GREAT first impression, then you'll get ANOTHER chance because the door is still open. Let THEM close the door-- don't close it due to your own lack of research, planning, professionalism, CHECKING OUT IN DETAIL what their project description or submission policy is, etc.

When I was looking for a couple of songs to finish off my album last summer, I placed VERY detailed project descriptions on various songwriter forums, etc. Genre, artist similarities/styles, tempo, links to my CURRENT music, etc. Out of approximately 100 submissions that folks sent me, I found the following:

Only about 10% or FEWER matched the project description stylistically. Some writers even admitted, "I've never heard of Natalie Grant [or Linda Rondstadt] or blah, blah, blah that you mentioned, but go to my site and listen to a few tunes. I'm sure you'll find one you like."

Artists DON'T have time to listen to ALL of your songs... they're searching for that "needle in a haystack" already, with all the other submissions. Unless you're a well-known, award-winning writer, they won't listen to that many of your songs (but professional songwriters wouldn't ask artists to listen to every song on their site, anyway-- they'd DO THEIR HOMEWORK and send you only what matches YOUR STYLE, and YOUR PROJECT DESCRIPTION). Most likely (and in MY case this was true), they won't listen to ANY of them. Submissions like this scream "amateur".

Some writers sent decent quality (well, some...) songs, but in the wrong genre/style or tempo I asked for.

Again, DO YOUR HOMEWORK, read if the description says "Contemporary/Pop" or "southern gospel" or "traditional country" or "urban gospel" or "male quartet-style inspirational". Don't send ANY SONG that doesn't fit the description-- like every song in your shoebox of tapes, in the hopes (desperately) that ONE will hit the button. Hit the button FOR THE ARTIST- make their work EASIER, and you'll set yourself apart as someone who RESPECTS the TIME and expertise of the artist/publisher (whoever is looking). Even if they don't pick YOUR song (this time), that door will remain OPEN for their next project. DON'T WASTE THEIR TIME.

And of course, many songs submitted were predictably (not well) written (boring lyrics- my 11-yr-old could have written).
Again, FIRST IMPRESSIONS STICK-- and they can make you or break you. JOIN SONGWRITERS GROUPS (like JP Folks, NSAI, www.christiansongwriters.org, www.dallassongwriters.org, MANY, MANY others-- do some searching online), and get EDUCATED about your craft! Let OTHERS critique and help you polish your song BEFORE you send it to an artist. A GREAT song (even if they DON'T end up using it-- believe me-- this happened with some of the songs/writers I encountered) will KEEP THOSE DOORS OPEN, and have the artist/publisher coming back for more-- or recommending you/your song to a PUBLISHER or another artist, or considering the song for their NEXT project! I personally sent probably 5% of the writers to three different publishers I recommended, and was instrumental in getting them publishing deals!!! So ONLY SEND a song that has been TESTED and TRIED by others.


I also recommend joining www.taxi.com if you're a SERIOUS songwriter [like me] and want professional critiques, as well as opportunities to submit to recording projects, TV/Film, video, publishing companies, etc. and have your music arrive as SOLICITED material!

Just a few tips.... from an honest heart that WANTS TO HELP YOU. I'm still learning, too, folks. Blessings to you all. THANKS AGAIN, Michael, for stirring up this GOOD STUFF!!!

Becky Wright Semi-finalist, Dallas Songwriters Association Songwriting Contest, 2006 [patriotic & Christian categories]

www.beckywrightsongs.com (Come see me- email me!)
www.indieheaven.com/artists/becky_wright (Leave a comment!)

Add me as a friend if you're on the following sites.)
www.shoutlife.com/beckywright (Christian site) www.myspace.com/beckywrightsongs
www.myCCM.org/beckywright

Last edited by bwsongs; 07/07/07 03:31 PM.

Becky on CD w/STEVEN CURTIS CHAPMAN!
FEMALE SONGWRITER of the YEAR 2008
Dallas Songwriters Top 10 ('06)
GMA/Dove '07 1st Ballot-Inspo Song
Broadjam Top 10 Songs-OK,
Top 10 Religious Pop in the Earth
Agape Fest Duo of the Year '06
url=http://www.beckywrightsongs.com]http://www.beckywrightsongs.com[/url]
#519924 - 07/07/07 04:02 PM Re: 31 "Tips" from Managers & Booking Agents (Part 4 of 4) [Re: bwsongs]  
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Emily Sanders Offline
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Emily Sanders  Offline
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Great stuff, Michael. Thanks for taking the time to share this smile

Emily

#519945 - 07/07/07 04:53 PM Re: 31 "Tips" from Managers & Booking Agents (Part 4 of 4) [Re: Emily Sanders]  
Joined: Mar 2002
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Michael Borges (D) Offline
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Michael Borges (D)  Offline
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Becky,
Wow, thanks for your truly awesome feedback! Your input, tips & advice serve well to underscore what the pros are already saying with their list of 31 Tips which this topic is all about!

Thanks for adding your advice & tips from your own personal experience as both an artist and a songwriter! This gives you the keen advantage of seeing things from both sides of the same table; the publishers & artists that are looking for GREAT new material and the songwriters that are constantly trying to connect with interested labels, artists & publishers to pitch their best material to.

Becky, you're a "gem" and I appreciate your valuable time and contribution to this topic. I hope it sparks the interest of many fine folks in the industry including publishers, labels and indie artists on both sides of the table when searching for those special 'rough diamonds' they can polish to build their acts and careers!

Here's my challenge to you:
If you know of any other songwriters or artists that would benefit from reading this post or may have some of their own points to contribute, please consider inviting them to join in here. Who knows where this kind of discussion (and networking) could lead?!

Thanks again for chiming in! smile
Michael


There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself. -- Johann Sebastian Bach

MichaelBorges.com
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#519946 - 07/07/07 04:57 PM Re: 31 "Tips" from Managers & Booking Agents (Part 4 of 4) [Re: Michael Borges (D)]  
Joined: Mar 2002
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Michael Borges (D) Offline
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Michael Borges (D)  Offline
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Emily,
You're welcome!

My main objective is simply to spark some interest for general sharing & discussion.
I hope I didn't fail completely? wink

It's summer and a lot of us are are on vacation and doing outdoor activities this time of the year, so it may take a bit longer before more folks get around to this topic.

Thanks for your post! smile
Michael


There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself. -- Johann Sebastian Bach

MichaelBorges.com
LicenseQuote.com
#520399 - 07/09/07 03:47 AM Re: 31 "Tips" from Managers & Booking Agents (Part 4 of 4) [Re: Michael Borges (D)]  
Joined: Nov 2003
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Joe Wrabek Offline
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Becky, great points. (Hi, Michael. I did notice the thread.) When I was a newspaper and magazine editor, I used to give seminars on how to deal with the press. The rules were pretty much the same. These are guys (and gals) who don't have a lot of time. If you give them exactly what they want, they'll run with it. Don't waste their time (and they can tell when their time is being wasted), or they simply will not deal with you, period.

I have tried to apply the same rules to dealing with the Music Biz. I do have a problem, of course, in that I work in very traditional formats. I do get TAXI's tip sheet, but couldn't for the life of me tell who all those "a la" folks are that they mention. To paraphrase the King, I ain't never bought a record, and I can't stand the mindless pap that passes for "music" on the radio, so I'm not "up" on all this modern stuff. So I haven't sent them anything. People will occasionally tell me, "hey, that sounds like..." and I'll duly file that away, in the hope I can use it later. But what they're ususally saying is "That sounds like Buck Owens." (Great. He's dead.) or "That sounds like Hank Williams." (Great. He's dead, too.) The dead guys probably are not buying any more songs right now.

I agree with the assessment that a lot of stuff being written right now is not very good. (This group mostly excepted, by the way.) I did join a local songwriters association when I moved here for my new job--but they've got a problem, too. They do a pretty good job of promotion of their members' stuff, but most of the stuff is (my opinion) not very good. I think a large part of that stems from their not doing anything about mutual critiquing and advice--something I get a lot of here (and really appreciate). They also haven't encouraged collaboration among the members, and I think a lot of them could benefit from being forced to work with somebody else. (The thing one has to remember about working in a vacuum is vacuums suck.)

I've arranged to talk to their Board next week about precisely these issues, and will see if something can be improved. In general, I think the more one can learn, the better.

Joe

#520545 - 07/09/07 02:29 PM Re: 31 "Tips" from Managers & Booking Agents (Part 4 of 4) [Re: Joe Wrabek]  
Joined: Jul 2006
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Sofa King Bixby Offline
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home and loving it
Michael,

my 2001 edition was little more than a list of who i want to lose the cost of a demo cd and time to. the only thing it really did for me, was point me in the direction of jpfolks. i am glad they are putting articles in it now. i heard Brian say that he has a whole article in the 2008 edition comming out. i think i will get it just for that...

-steve


"sing along little hotties in those wet t-shirts" -Tricia "angel" Baker


http://www.soundclick.com/bands/pagemusic.cfm?bandID=718667
http://www.soundclick.com/bands/stephenbixby
#520573 - 07/09/07 03:41 PM Re: 31 "Tips" from Managers & Booking Agents (Part 4 of 4) [Re: Joe Wrabek]  
Joined: Mar 2002
Posts: 4,297
Michael Borges (D) Offline
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Michael Borges (D)  Offline
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Joined: Mar 2002
Posts: 4,297
Lake Elsinore, California
Joe,
Thanks for sharing your input & insights! I didn't know you where a newspaper and magazine editor at one time, nice background to have. I'm sured you learned a lot of things that will also apply to other areas of work & business, as well as the music industry in general.

I'll be watching more of your posts!
Michael


There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself. -- Johann Sebastian Bach

MichaelBorges.com
LicenseQuote.com
#520574 - 07/09/07 03:43 PM Re: 31 "Tips" from Managers & Booking Agents (Part 4 of 4) [Re: Sofa King Bixby]  
Joined: Mar 2002
Posts: 4,297
Michael Borges (D) Offline
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Michael Borges (D)  Offline
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Joined: Mar 2002
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Originally Posted by Sofa King Bixby
Michael,

my 2001 edition was little more than a list of who i want to lose the cost of a demo cd and time to. the only thing it really did for me, was point me in the direction of jpfolks. i am glad they are putting articles in it now. i heard Brian say that he has a whole article in the 2008 edition comming out. i think i will get it just for that...

-steve


Steve,
Yeah, I think they've probably come a ways since 2001. The 2007 edition had some handy references, listings and articles, but in my opinion, a lot of this can also be found online these days if one is patient and knows where to look. Matter of fact, a lot of info, advice & contacts can also be found right here on these JPF boards! smile

Michael


There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself. -- Johann Sebastian Bach

MichaelBorges.com
LicenseQuote.com

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